Your phone’s caller ID might falsely appear to be a call from your utility provider, and the scammer will claim a customer’s service will be disconnected unless they make an immediate payment, usually within a very short period of time, like an hour.
The caller often instructs the customer to purchase a gift card or a prepaid debit card, then call back and make a utility payment. The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid debit card’s receipt number and PIN number, giving them access to the card’s funds and the ability to immediately drain its balance.
Avoid being a victim, and remain alert. If you receive a suspected scam call, remember:
- Never agree to provide payment over the phone to an unknown caller;
- Hang up and call your utility service provider and ask about the status of your account; and
- Don’t use the telephone number provided by the scammer. Use the telephone number on your utility bill, on your utility’s official website or a number provided in the telephone directory.